President Bush is likening the War on Terror to World War III
. He may be right. For years analysts were calling the Middle East a powder keg waiting the explode. The US relied on the containment policies that proved effective against the Soviets during the cold war. America was lulled into a false sense of security.
Our naivete and innocence came crashing down on the darkest day in our lives. In the greatest outpouring of sympathy the world has ever seen, the entire world it seemed mourned for the horrible loss that occurred on September 11th, 2001.
The United States, with the overwhelming support of the world community, destroyed the Taliban in Afghanistan, but this was just the start of a much greater campaign. Any county that harbored terrorists and provided them with support would become an enemy of the United States.
The greatest destabilize force in the Middle East undoubtedly was the regime of Saddam Hussein. Hussein's history of attacking his neighbors, stockpiling and using chemical weapons, and his generous support of terrorist organizations including Hamas and Al Qaida, made Hussein the obvious choice for the next battlefield of World War III.
Unfortunately, Hussein had corrupted the UN and many of its members with money illegally taken from the oil for food funds. Nations that had provided tactical, financial, and logistical support for the war to depose the Taliban opposed the war against Saddam. A combination of greed, shame, and perhaps even diplomatic blackmail resulted in several US "allies" opposing the war.
President Bush, seeing that the diplomatic route was failing, pushed on with the support of a coalition of nations - a still relatively large number of nations - bent on removing the greatest threat to a lasting peace in the Middle East.
The War on Terror is still far from complete; thus World War III is still far from over. It appears very clear that Iraq will NOT be the last stop in the War on Terror. With Iran working diligently to develop Nuclear Weapons it is only a matter of time before a coalition of Nations, likely one lead by US forces, will be forced to take action. If not for Iran's nuclear ambitions, Syria would also be a strong candidate for a next stop for US troops. North Korea could be a threat, but they seem to be adequately contained... for now.